Dementia imaging in clinical practice: a European-wide survey of 193 centres and conclusions by the ESNR working group

M. W. Vernooij, F. B. Pizzini, R. Schmidt, M. Smits, T. A. Yousry, N. Bargallo, G. B. Frisoni, S. Haller, F. Barkhof

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Purpose: Through a European-wide survey, we assessed the current clinical practice of imaging in the primary evaluation of dementia, with respect to standardised imaging, evaluation and reporting. Methods: An online questionnaire was emailed to all European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR) members (n = 1662) and non-members who had expressed their interest in ESNR activities in the past (n = 6400). The questionnaire featured 42 individual items, divided into multiple choice, single best choice and free text answers. Information was gathered on the context of the practices, available and preferred imaging modalities, applied imaging protocols and standards for interpretation, reporting and communication. Results: A total of 193 unique (non-duplicate) entries from the European academic and non-academic institutions were received from a total of 28 countries. Of these, 75% were neuroradiologists, 12% general radiologists and 11% (neuro) radiologists in training. Of responding centres, 38% performed more than five scans/week for suspected dementia. MRI was primarily used in 72% of centres. Over 90% of centres acquired a combination of T2w, FLAIR, T1w, DWI and T2*w sequences. Visual rating scales were used in 75% of centres, most often the Fazekas and medial temporal atrophy scale; 32% of respondents lacked full confidence in their use. Only 23% of centres performed volumetric analysis. A minority of centres (28%) used structured reports. Conclusions: Current practice in dementia imaging is fairly homogeneous across Europe, in terms of image acquisition and image interpretation. Hurdles identified include training on the use of visual rating scales, implementation of volumetric assessment and structured reporting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-642
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Dementia
  • Imaging
  • MRI
  • Survey

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